When you buy products from some sites that we link to, we may earn an affiliate commission. Learn More.


Smart HVAC Systems Buying Guide - Do You Need To Upgrade?

Most people don't realize that their older heating and cooling system is costing them a lot of money in energy costs.

If your home was built before the late `90s, then the odds are that you have an old unit with poor efficiency ratings.

And even if your home is newer, there might still be ways to improve the efficiency of your HVAC equipment without replacing it entirely.

By reading this entire guide, you should have all the information necessary to determine whether or not a smart HVAC system would work well for your home.

What Is Smart HVAC?

Smart HVAC can refer to a variety of things, but at its core, it is the idea of making our heating and cooling systems smarter to help you conserve energy and save money.

This can be accomplished in many ways, from simply switching to an in-duct cleaning system to investing in smart thermostats that link with your smartphone app to make temperature adjustments easier than ever before.

How Do Smart HVAC Systems Work?

A smart HVAC system can turn your thermostat up or down based on the presence of people in a room. For example, if you have an extra bedroom that's not being used during the day but is occupied at night, it would be wasteful to heat or cool this unused space when no one benefits from it.

In short, with the right smart technology installed in your smart home, you get an energy-efficient system and greater comfort levels every day of the year!

Can Smart Devices Be Added To Your Existing HVAC System?

Yes! There are many devices that can be added to your existing heating and cooling system. Here are a few options to consider, including:

  • Cost: $$$$
  • Installation: Experienced to Professional

Smart Thermostat is an excellent choice for homeowners who want to control heating from anywhere in their home!

Smart Vents

  • Cost: $$$
  • Installation: Easy DIY to Experienced

Smart vents are helpful for homes with many windows or rooms on different levels as they route air up/down, left/right based upon your desired temperature.

Smart Filters

  • Cost: $$$$$
  • Installation: Basic to Easy DIY

Smart Air filters improve indoor air quality by removing particles like dust, pollen, and pet dander, so that you don't have to worry about breathing them in while you relax at home.

Smart Water Valves

  • Cost: $$$$
  • Installation: Experienced to Professional

Smart water valves and sensors to alert homeowners when pipes are leaking so they can take preventative measures before it's too late.

Solar Powered Heat Pumps

  • Cost: $$$
  • Installation: Experienced to Professional

Solar-powered heat pumps help homeowners reduce their energy bills by taking advantage of natural resources.

Smart Air Conditioners

  • Cost: $$$$$
  • Installation: Experienced to Professional

Air Conditioner - Smart sensors automatically adjust the temperature based on the outdoor and indoor conditions to help homeowners reduce their energy bills.

These additions can be installed into an existing traditional HVAC system by either adding the devices, replacing the existing equipment with smart alternatives built into newer models of furnaces and air conditioners, or retrofitting older units in place using 'smart' features like those mentioned above.

This is also true for other housing types, such as new construction homes, which might not have been originally designed to accommodate these upgrades.

Maintaining A Smart HVAC System

A smart HVAC system is more than a thermostat that controls the climate in your home. It's also the complex network of pipes, vents, computers, and other components that connect to your smart home's heating and cooling systems.

Even with the most automated systems in place, regularly performing routine checks for leaks, blockages or clogs can help diagnose potential upcoming problems.

Here are some helpful ways you can maintain your smart HVAC equipment:

  • Update all software on all devices. Ensure that any firmware upgrades have been installed and are working correctly.
  • Use test features that are available for most devices.
  • Make sure all filters are clean so air flows freely through them.
  • Check fan blades to make sure there aren't any obstructions like dust, leaves, or dirt blocking their movement. With so many electronics, keeping your equipment cool is essential.
  • Clean condenser coils on outside air conditioning units periodically
  • Replace anything that needs to be replaced or will. Don't wait for a complete failure to occur.
  • Always have a backup plan and update it after you've done your routine checks to see if there's something that could be improved.

Regular maintenance will help keep your smart HVAC system running smoothly and efficiently.

Smart HVAC Installation: DIY Or Done By The Pros?

Many of us don't mind attempting simple DIY projects, but when it comes to installing certain parts of a smart HVAC system, the task becomes much more challenging.

The Dilemma

There are a number of installation methods for smart devices in an HVAC system. If you have an existing system, having the professionals install it can be advantageous if something goes wrong or at some point in the future.

There is also cost to consider when determining whether or not to hire someone else to do the work, but what they charge may offset any savings that might come from doing it yourself (DIY).

It's important to weigh these options against each other before deciding which route best suits your needs.

Should You Pay For Professional Installation?

Our biggest reason to recommend having it done by the pros is for your homeowner's insurance, which can be denied or canceled if the system is not installed correctly. Some policies outright don't allow for DIY or will increase fees dramatically.

The professionals also know how to install a system that will keep your energy costs low and help you save on taxes, depending on what type of heating or cooling unit you have in place or upgrades you're making.

In Summary: Is Smart Heating And Cooling For You?

Smart heating and cooling is a great idea, but it can be confusing to know if this new technology is right for you.

Our aim with this guide was to make the process of learning about smart HVAC systems as simple and painless as possible. We hope that we've succeeded in helping you better understand how smart heating and cooling works, what kind of benefits it offers, and whether or not it's worth your time investment.

Expert Sources

  1. ENERGY STAR / 2021 / https://www.energystar.gov/products/heating_cooling/smart_thermostats
  2. U.S. Department Of Energy / 2021 / https://rpsc.energy.gov/tech-solutions/hvac
  3. HomeGuide / 2020 / https://homeguide.com/costs/hvac-cost
  4. US National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health / 2014 / https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4090474/
  5. Bob Vila / 2021 / https://www.bobvila.com/articles/installing-a-smart-thermostat/